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Gatsby Intro Paragraph-Help!A descendent of immigrants himself, current Los Angeles...

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joco456 | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted November 21, 2011 at 9:34 AM via web

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Gatsby Intro Paragraph-Help!

A descendent of immigrants himself, current Los Angeles Mayor Villaigarosa, once deliberated about the idea of coming to America. He said, "we come to work, we come for a better life.. [and] to participate in the American dream". According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary, this dream, which is dreamt by immigrants arriving to the United States everyday, is "an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and material prosperity". Though with persistence and a touch of luck one can achieve material prosperity, through F. Scott Fitzgerald's, The Great Gatsby and its critique of society, the reader is dumbfounded to realize that maybe this dream is not as achievable and as grand as they once thought it to be. That despite what they have been told, they will never amount to as much or be considered as one of the social elite and are confined to the class of which they are born. Ultimately though The Great Gatsby, is a novel about the distorted fairy-tale-like perception of the American Dream by the large majority –those who strive to achieve the unachievable- and the ugly truth behind the glittering façade of the social elite. Through the eyes of key characters such as: Tom Buchanan, Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, and George Wilson, who each portray a different aspect of the American society of the time, Fitzgerald exposes, and forces the reader to acknowledge the flaws and imperfections of such a delusional dream.

 

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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 21, 2011 at 11:15 AM (Answer #2)

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A descendent of immigrants himself, current Los Angeles Mayor Villaigarosa, [no comma here] once deliberated about the idea of coming to America. He said, "we come to work, we come for a better life.. [search for the topic "ellipsis points" on Google, or on the site listed below, to learn how to fix a problem here] [and] to participate in the American dream". [search on Google, or one the site listed below, for "placement of periods" for advice on where periods should be placed] According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary, this dream, which is dreamt by immigrants arriving to the United States everyday, [search on Google for "everyday vs. every day] is "an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and material prosperity". Though with persistence and a touch of luck one can achieve material prosperity, through [you need a verb here; what do we do with books?] F. Scott Fitzgerald's, [no comma here]The Great Gatsby and its critique of society, the reader is dumbfounded to realize that maybe this dream is not as achievable and as grand as they [earlier you spoke of "the reader," singular; here you have switches to plural] once thought it to be. That despite what they have been told, they will never amount to as much or be considered as one [earlier you said "they"; here you say "one"] of the social elite and are confined to the class of [change to "into"] which they are born. Ultimately though [you need some commas here]The Great Gatsby, [you need no comma here] is a novel about the distorted fairy-tale-like perception of the American Dream by the large majority –those who strive to achieve the unachievable- and the ugly truth behind the glittering façade of the social elite. Through the eyes of key characters such as: [check rules for use of colons] Tom Buchanan, Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, and George Wilson, who each portray a different aspect of the American society of the time, Fitzgerald exposes, and forces the reader to acknowledge [you need a comma here] the flaws and imperfections of such a delusional dream.

 

I've tried to give you feedback about grammar, because grammatical problems will hurt you no matter how strong your writing may be in other respects.  Here is a truly excellent site on the web that can help you with just about any imaginable grammatical problem:

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/index2.htm

This site will provide you not just with rules but with interactive exercises to help you understand and master the rules.

Good luck!

 

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 21, 2011 at 9:11 PM (Answer #3)

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Whilst this is an opening paragraph, some of your sentences are a bit too long and complex, and get lost at various points. I always say to my students that short, simple and elegant is much better than long, wordy and verbose, as it is much easier to make sure you maintain succintness and clarity of focus. You do everything an introduction should do, but you just need to read this introduction out loud to yourself a few times in order to see what I mean.

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted November 22, 2011 at 4:02 AM (Answer #4)

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This is an extremely long paragraph for an introduction.  You might consider trimming it down and including some of the information in later paragraphs as evidence of your thesis statement.  Your thesis is a bit long as well.  You might consider trying to tighten up the sentence structure.  If a sentence or paragraph is too long, the reader may start to lose the point of the statement.  Remember that an introduction should simply introduce the reader to the topic.  There is no need to include extraneous information.  For instance, what does the Mayor of LA have to do with your thesis?  Yes, it is a nice quote, but if it does not further the topic it is extraneous and may need to be removed.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 22, 2011 at 10:08 AM (Answer #5)

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In addition to following the sound direction given by the  previous posts, you may wish to trim your thesis statement so that it clarifies the direction you are taking in your essay; besides, doing so will not only help the reader follow your thoughts, but it will also assist you in writing the body paragraphs as you will more easily determine how to write your topic sentences.

One way to make this thesis statement more coherent is to use parallelism. Remember, too, that specifics are not necessary in the general statement. Try something like this:

With the development of characters from different social levels, areas, and aspects of American society, Fitzgerald exposes the illusionary properties of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby.

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litlady33 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted November 23, 2011 at 2:07 AM (Answer #6)

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The above posters have good tips. It might be a good idea to trim up your intro, and definitely be sure you are fixing the conventional errors (as the first post pointed out).

Have you written the rest of your essay yet, or are you just working on perfecting the introduction? If you have not yet written the body of the essay, my advice would be to hold off on finalizing the introduction until you do have the body written. This way, you can see what needs to be included in the introdutory paragraph. Many times, during the writing and revision process, good writers will write the body paragraphs and then tweak the introduction and thesis to fit with what has been written in the body. You want your introduction to provide an outline of sorts for the rest of the essay. Is there anything mentioned in the body that isn't mentioned generally in the introduction? If so, you should decide whether it belongs in the essay. If it does, you need to change the introduction to fit that idea.

A good rule of thumb is that every idea in your essay needs to tie back in some way to the thesis. If you cannot make a connection, it either does not belong or the thesis needs to be changed.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted November 25, 2011 at 2:16 AM (Answer #7)

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My initial impressions are two. The first is that (1) your opening reference to Mayor Villaigarosa is misleading--the Introduction gives no idea that the essay is about Gatsby for two ideas (Mayor Villaigarosa and Miriam-Webster Dictionary,) and about 6 lines of type. I would suggest (despite the popularity of the "hook/quote" approach) that these need to be relocated, perhaps to the first body paragraph often dedicated to background. The second is that (2) most of your Introduction belongs in the first paragraph with background. I'd personally work with just this in the Introduction:

Though with persistence and a touch of luck one can achieve material prosperity, through F. Scott Fitzgerald's, The Great Gatsby and its critique of society, the reader is dumbfounded to realize that maybe this dream is not as achievable and as grand as they once thought it to be. ... Through the eyes of key characters such as: Tom Buchanan, Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, and George Wilson, who each portray a different aspect of the American society of the time, Fitzgerald exposes, and forces the reader to acknowledge the flaws and imperfections of such a delusional dream.

Note that the first sentence would need to be rearranged, beginning perhaps with Fitzgerald: "Through F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and its critique of society .... though with persistence ...."

Note also that the sentence "That despite what they have been told, they will never amount to as much or be considered as one of the social elite and are confined to the class of which they are born." may not begin with "That." It must also be rearranged, perhaps beginning it with "Despite ...."

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 20, 2012 at 6:57 AM (Answer #8)

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I would suggest adjusting your point a bit. You state that the dream, which the character's believe in, is unattainable, yet Gatsby has attained his goal - to some extent. Where exactly do you see his failure?

Which of these two questions better sums up your argument:

  1. Is the American Dream illusory because "real" change is impossible?
  2. (Or) Is the American Dream a negative motivator because it focuses on a materialism that cannot support a moral counterpart?

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